Nurses the backbone of our health-care system

Debra McPherson, president of the B.C. Nurses’ Union; Times Colonist (Victoria)

…. Not only do nurses help promote quality health care, but they are advocates for social justice.  At the BCNU, we recognize that health is rooted in social, economic and environmental conditions. We support initiatives that fight injustice and move our society toward greater equity. That includes affordable housing and daycare, a clean environment, regular increases in the minimum wage and improved income supports and programs for the most vulnerable citizens.

Take, for example, the lack of accessible and affordable child care, which is a serious issue for an ever-growing number of B.C. families. We believe the lack of government leadership in addressing this crisis is one of the primary reasons for the growth of child poverty in our province. B.C. has the highest child poverty rate in the country, which we find unacceptable. That’s why we support the campaign calling for a $10-a-day child-care plan across the province.

Recognizing that socioeconomic status, social support and other factors create considerable health disparities, nurses across the province also advocate for equal access to housing, food, income security and health care. We do this in schools, addiction centres, on the streets and in mental health clinics – wherever there is a need….